The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Maus (Art Spiegelman)

Cover of Maus Volume I (1986 Pantheon Books art by Art Spiegelman

Maus is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Serialized from 1980 to 1991, it depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, Americans as dogs, the English as fish, the French as frogs, and the Swedish as deer. Critics have classified Maus as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. In 1992, it became the first (and to date only) graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (the Special Award in Letters).
In the frame-tale timeline in the narrative present that begins in 1978 in New York City, Spiegelman talks with his father Vladek about his Holocaust experiences, gathering material for the Maus project he is preparing. In the narrative past, Spiegelman depicts these experiences, from the years leading up to World War II to his parents’ liberation from the Nazi concentration camps. Much of the story revolves around Spiegelman’s troubled relationship with his father, and the absence of his mother, who took her own life when he was 20. Her grief-stricken husband destroyed her written accounts of Auschwitz. The book uses a minimalist drawing style and displays innovation in its pacing, structure, and page layouts.
A three-page strip also called “Maus” that he made in 1972 gave Spiegelman an opportunity to interview his father about his life during World War II. The recorded interviews became the basis for the graphic novel, which Spiegelman began in 1978. He serialized Maus from 1980 until 1991 as an insert in Raw, an avant-garde comics and graphics magazine published by Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly, who also appears in Maus. A collected volume of the first six chapters that appeared in 1986 brought the book mainstream attention; a second volume collected the remaining chapters in 1991. Maus was one of the first graphic novels to receive significant academic attention in the English-speaking world. WIKI

UW Video

Tennessee school board votes unanimously to ban book about the Holocaust

Art Spiegelman sees the new ban of his book ‘Maus’ as a ‘red alert’


The graphic novel ‘Maus,’ which portrays the horrors of The Holocaust, has been banned by a Tennessee school board by unanimous vote from the eighth grade curriculum. Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning artist and creator of the esteemed work ‘Maus,’ and Jerry Craft, Newbery Medal-winning illustrator and author of ‘New Kid,’ which was temporarily banned by a Texas school board, join Joy Reid to discuss.
Maus Audio Comic Book Chapter 1-5 Graphic Novel Reader

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